Mastercard and Zenith Bank have included Ghana as part of their partnership in West Africa. The agreement is geared towards issuing a suite of digital payment solutions that include prepaid, debit and credit cards which was made available from December 14, 2016.
The introduction of the suite of solutions will ensure all citizens have access to safer ways to pay for goods and services as the payment cards are EMV Chip and PIN enabled. This is in line with Ghana’s Vision 2020 goals, which sets out plans to accelerate the migration to this global standard.
“With the rapid progression of the electronic payments industry, our customers are increasingly seeking faster, more secure and smarter ways to pay. To cater to their evolving needs, we have launched this range of internationally-accepted payment cards, making it easier for them to safely access their funds both here in Ghana and abroad,” says Mr. Henry Oroh, MD/CEO of Zenith Bank Ghana.
Mr. Oroh went on to add that Zenith Bank Ghana offers a cutting edge ICT platform, a passionately innovative team and devotion to the development of top of the range products and services to meet customer needs.
Millions of Cedis are lost in bank fraud annually and while the losses are not always attributed to card fraud, the increase in card usage especially among the middle class has necessitated the formulation of tougher measures to fight fraud, making the case for the adoption of secure Chip and PIN cards.
“EMV technology protects in-store payments from card fraud. A small chip built into the payment card generates a one-time PIN for every transaction, making it virtually impossible to create counterfeit cards,” said Omokehinde Adebanjo, Area Business Head West Africa, Mastercard. “As this shift gains momentum around the world, a global chip infrastructure is taking shape to counter the threat of fraudulent transactions. We look forward to working with Zenith Bank in Ghana to bring safer payment technologies to the market.”
EMV-enabled cards feature an embedded microchip to encrypt information, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access data on the card. Additionally, the Mastercard prepaid, debit and credit cards will be accepted at millions of acceptance locations and ATM machines in over 210 countries.
Adebanjo pointed out that although the suite of solutions will play a role in including the previously unbanked and underserved in the formal financial sector given that only 35% of the country’s citizens have an account at a financial institution. She says that there is a deeper focus on continuing to strengthen the local economy and thus providing accessible, safe and secure payment solutions to all citizens.
“Our collaboration with Zenith Bank Ghana is an exciting development, and will give us the opportunity to extend the latest advances in payment technology to benefit all Ghanaians. Currently we are focused on offering our core product suite, but are eager to explore the roll-out of other solutions that will meet the needs and goals outlined by the Vision 2020 strategy. We agree that technology is changing the face of Ghana, and Africa – but there is still so much opportunity and we look forward to working with our partners to develop a cashless Ghana,” concluded Adebanjo.